06/20/2004 11:00PM

Plan for Sightseek's last four starts


ELMONT, N.Y. - Sightseek is 6 for 6 on the dirt courses of Belmont Park and Saratoga. With that in mind, trainer Bobby Frankel said Monday that Sightseek will make the final four starts of her career over those two tracks.

Frankel said that Sightseek came out of her 3 1/4-length victory in Saturday's Grade 1 Ogden Phipps Handicap in good order and will pointed to a defense of her Go for Wand title on Aug. 1 at Saratoga. After that, Sightseek would attempt 1 1/4 miles in the Grade 1 Personal Ensign Handicap on Aug. 27.

Provided all goes well there, Sightseek will return to Belmont for the Grade 1, $300,000 Ruffian on Sept. 18 and the Grade 1, $750,000 Beldame on Oct. 9. Sightseek won the Beldame last fall. Frankel said Sightseek would not be pointed to the Breeders' Cup Distaff on Oct. 30 at Lone Star Park.

"I'm not going to get caught up in the Breeders' Cup," said Frankel, noting he doesn't believe Sightseek would like the Lone Star. "She's going to have a full plate if I run her in those four races."

Unless Sightseek wins all four races, her chances of winning a championship could be diminished by not participating in the Breeders' Cup.

"I'm not even thinking about that," Frankel said. "I'm thinking about her. She's been good to me, so I want to be good to her."

Frankel said if the Breeders' Cup were held at Belmont Park, "I'd definitely run her."

Sightseek improved her Belmont record to 4 for 4 with a surprisingly easy victory in the Phipps, a race in which two-time defending divisional champion Azeri finish last. Sightseek, who put Azeri away leaving the three-furlong marker, earned a 99 Beyer Speed Figure for the effort.

Sightseek was not the only Frankel-trained horse to make an impression over the weekend. A race before the Phipps, Reforest, a 3-year-old daughter of Forestry, won an entry-level allowance race by 5 1/2 lengths. On Sunday, Ice Wynnd Fire, a 3-year-old gelded son of Northern Afleet, won an entry-level allowance race by five lengths.

Reforest was making her first start since being privately purchased by Edmund Gann and had not started since winning her maiden at Turfway Park by 11 1/4 lengths on Dec. 26. Saturday, she ran seven furlongs in 1:22.69 and earned a 93 Beyer. She could be pointed to the Grade 1 Test Stakes at Saratoga on July 31.

Ice Wynnd Fire, purchased by John Amerman and turned over to Frankel after her second start last fall, won making his first start in five months. He ran six furlongs in 1:09.50, earning a 99 Beyer. Frankel's goal for him is the Grade 1 King's Bishop at Saratoga on Aug. 28, though Frankel is unsure whether he'd run before then.

Frankel said both horses had layoffs precipitated by infirmities.

"Good thing I train for people that don't mind waiting for horses after you buy them," Frankel said. "Some owners want a quick return on their investment. I've got a different philosophy. I don't want to break them down. Then you never get your money out of them. I figure I get them as good as I can, then I run them."

Frankel said Master David, who worked four furlongs in 51.43 seconds on Belmont's main track Monday, could run in Saturday's Grade 3, $250,000 Kent Breeders' Cup at Delaware Park on turf.

Frankel also said Jose Santos would ride Master David if Frankel elects not to run Miss Coronado in Saturday's Grade 1 Mother Goose Stakes here.

Tagg has no plans for Funny Cide

With the exception of the Pimlico Special, Funny Cide made every race trainer Barclay Tagg targeted for him during the first half of the year. If nothing else, Funny Cide was consistent with two wins, a second, and two thirds, including a head loss to Offlee Wild in Saturday's Massachusetts Handicap. His only off-the-board finish came in the Metropolitan Handicap, in which he finished fifth.

Now, comes the tricky part.

Tagg scratched Funny Cide from the Pimlico Special due to the hot weather in Baltimore that day. Tagg believes Funny Cide has respiratory issues that keep him from running his best in the heat.

Summer officially began Monday and there figures to be plenty of hot days ahead. That's why Tagg is not targeting any race for Funny Cide, though he would "not rule out" a start during the upcoming Saratoga meet.

Funny Cide's two best options at the Spa are the Grade 1, $750,000 Whitney Handicap on Aug. 7 or the Grade 2, $250,000 Saratoga Breeders' Cup on Aug. 22. Tagg's major goal for the fall is the $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont on Oct. 2.

"If August isn't too hot," Tagg said, stopping short of promising a start at Saratoga. "I don't have any plans except to freshen him up a little bit. He's run six times in six months against top company so he's done enough. He's a pretty consistent horse. He's running triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures every time he runs, I don't see too many others doing that."

Tagg said he was pleased with Funny Cide's effort in the Massachusetts Handicap. "He ran good," Tagg said. "He got beat a [head] giving that horse four pounds."

Dutrow enjoying the moment

Speaking of Offlee Wild, trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. said he would consider the Whitney for that colt's next start. Of course, it was hard to hear Dutrow as his voice was still hoarse from cheering on Saturday.

"That's a spot we're looking at," said Dutrow, who was confident in Offlee Wild's chances in the Mass Cap. "I bet out on him, so did everybody I know. I thought he was going to be tough to beat."

Offlee Wild, a son of Wild Again, is now 2 for 2 since moving to Dutrow from trainer T.V. Smith. Dutrow said Offlee Wild had myriad infirmities when he got him, but "nothing major."

McGaughey high on Storm Flag Flying

Storm Flag Flying's trainer, Shug McGaughey, said he was quite pleased with her effort in the Ogden Phipps and plans on running the filly next in the Go for Wand.

Storm Flag Flying was beaten 3 1/4 lengths by Sightseek in the Phipps, which is named for Storm Flag Flying's late owner and breeder. In the paddock while she was being saddled, Storm Flag Flying lost a shoe, which was put back on by a blacksmith. The high-strung filly was a bit stirred up in the walking ring, but McGaughey said neither the shoe incident nor her hyperactivity had an effect on her performance in the race.

"She ran fine; I thought it was an improving race and a race we can improve off of," McGaughey said.

Before the Phipps, Storm Flag Flying, the champion 2-year-old filly in 2002, won the Grade 2 Shuvee on May 15. The Shuvee was Storm Flag Flying's first stakes win since the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies at Arlington Park in 2002. The Go for Wand will be Storm Flag Flying's second start at Saratoga. She won her career debut there as a 2-year-old.

Speightstown Grade 1-bound

The lure of running in a Grade 1 is beckoning trainer Todd Pletcher to Hollywood Park with Speightstown for the $300,000 Triple Bend Breeders' Cup Invitational on July 3.

Pletcher also is considering the Grade 2, $150,000 Tom Fool at Belmont on July 4 or the Grade 3, $500,000 Smile Sprint at Calder on July 10 for Speightstown. The Triple Bend won out because of its Grade 1 status, which Pletcher said is a bonus when trying to build the 6-year-old's resume for stallion duty.

"It's the only thing he hasn't accomplished," Pletcher said. "As a stallion prospect, it would be a significant win for him."

Speightstown is 3 for 3 this year in stakes for his owners, Eugene and Laura Melnyk. He won the ungraded Artax at Gulfstream Park on March 2 and followed with wins in the Grade 2 Churchill Downs Handicap on May 1 and the Grade 2 True North Breeders' Cup at Belmont on June 5.

Pletcher said Speightstown would be ridden by Alex Solis in the Triple Bend.

- additional reporting by Karen M. Johnson